Hello world!

•October 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I am a director of hybrid work based in NYC.  Over the last 20 years, I have created 26 works for the stage, including 11 original hybrid works, 8 adaptations of novels & short stories and 7 classic plays.

I make theatre because it forges community. I seek to create immediate, substantive work that engages the complexity and intensity of today’s culture. I work in a collaborative, process-driven way to fuse different disciplines into a cohesive whole.

I am a co-founder and Artistic Director of HERE, where I cultivate artists and programs all events for two performance spaces–including 17 OBIE-award winners—for an annual audience of 30,000.

I just premiered LUSH VALLEY, a live art interactive work, for which I am currently developing an American tour. I am also in the early stages of three new projects.

LUSH VALLEY

•March 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

An interactive live art event, LUSH VALLEY is hatched by a creative artistic team and shaped nightly by an ever-expanding community of you. LUSH VALLEY invites audience members to abandon their spectator hats and become key players in shaping an alternative national ethos through real-time video interviews, citizenship tests, lectures, voting, and historical hallucinations. Have a hand in building LUSH VALLEY, your own idyllic-yet-realizable society, and rediscover this country as the home of differences.

LUSH VALLEY was created  by dramaturg Yana Landowne, director Kristin Marting, and video artist Tal Yarden (along with writers Robert Lyons and Qui Nguyen and designers Oana Botez, Chris Kuhl, Clint Ramos and Jane Shaw). The show premiered on September 11th, 2011 at HERE. We are currently putting together an American tour leading up to the 2012 election.

Check out a LUSH VALLEY Slide Show

If you would like to learn more, please visit our blog at lushvalleyproject.wordpress.com for more info.

SOUNDING

•August 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

A rock star swims for her life. A past resurfaces.

Rock goddess Leda feels it coming, from deep down, from the ocean.  It won’t bow to her grief.  Hear it?  Lust, longing, life, chaos.  The music.  The Stranger.  SOUNDING is a new cross-disciplinary production for seven characters that pays homage to Ibsen’s LADY FROM THE SEA. Live cinema surges onto stage in this multi-media play set to an original soundtrack inspired by Patti Smith, Bartok and Portishead. Written by Jennifer Gibbs and directed by Kristin Marting. February-March 2010.

Check out our slideshow with photos by Carl Skutsch: SOUNDING Slide Show

Check out more on our blog:   http://soundingproject.wordpress.com

THE POSSESSED

•July 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

1991 After spending a year adapting Dostoevsky’s epic novel, THE POSSESSED, with my collaborator Robert Lyons, I began rehearsal with a 14 person cast. About a week into rehearsal when we began the process of taking exploratory work and translating it into staging, I began to instinctually feel the space for the first time as a director. In the past, I had intellectually analyzed the space and made my choices. It was liberating and thrilling to instinctually feel what the strongest choice spatially was.

MAD SHADOWS

•July 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

1997. My dance-theatre adaptation of Canadian novelist Marie Claire Blais’ first work, MAD SHADOWS, was centered on an intelligent but ugly girl’s relationship with her hatefully vain and shallow family and her attempt to create her own better family.  I had been exploring using a gestural vocabulary in my work since 1991. But this project, aided by a long eighteen-month development process using the same strong cast, enabled me to create a very deep work that fused gestures and emotions. The jarring, flailing but still stylized gestures of a girl in unbearable pain brought her agony home with our audiences.

DISPOSABLE MEN

•July 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

2005. Although I had worked with media before, I first began deeply integrating media on DISPOSABLE MEN, a solo work by James Scruggs about the representation of African-American men in our culture. We used original, found, and live feed video projected onto cylindrical, fabric and flat screens as well as projecting onto the performer’s body. It was really exciting to uncover how much we could amplify our message by mixing image and performance together. Even more exciting was examining my own perspective as a white woman by this piece dealing with tensions between black men and white women.

Disposable Men - James Scruggs

Disposable Men - James Scruggs photo by Carl Skutsch

ORPHEUS

•July 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

2004. This is an image from ORPHEUS, a music theatre show that  I directed a few years ago. ORPHEUS was a true hybrid collaboration of music, text, dance, and media. It was co-conceived by myself, the set designer and lighting designer. Once we created the concept and outline, we invited the other collaborators into a consensus-based process (writer, composer, video artist and costume designer). I really felt like we were able to achieve a rich and beautiful visual and auditory world through this team effort. I’m still haunted by the image of the denizens of the underworld singing to Orpheus “don’t look back,” and yet he does.

Pictured here is Taylor Mac as Orpheus and Katy Cunningham, Arie Thompson and Nina Mankin as the Sirens of the Underworld.

Orpheus and the Sirens

Orpheus and the Sirens - photo by David Morris

ORPHEUS looks at grief and how difficult it can be to overcome. We started making this project in NYC soon after 9/11 because we wanted to find a visceral way to explore unresolved grief for our community. We found our way in through music and by stretching the boundaries of music-theatre. We  hit on setting it in an underground nightclub for the recently departed with strict entry policies and rules.  We positioned the audience as recent arrivals – instead of a ticket, each was issued a honey cake and coin to get past the bouncer Charon – and were served drinks from the rivers of the underworld to ease their passage into forgetfulness. Scattered about the club at tables, banquettes and chairs, the audience was surrounded by the Shades, memory-troubled dead whom our hostess Persephone (backed by her trio of burlesque siren-enforcers) soothes by erasing painful memories of the lives they have left behind (these memories are represented as video sequences projected onto the Shades’ bodies). We defined the charismatic Orpheus as a famous pop singer who has broken the rules (by entering the club still alive) and his newly departed bride Eurydice as a birdwatcher.  In our version of the myth, Orpheus is forced to choose between his art and his love. His grief at Eurydice’s death gives him new expression and artistry in his music, which he knows he will lose if she comes back to life. When Orpheus looks back at the end, it is an articulation of the struggle between these two competing desires.

Audiences responded enthusiastically to the show and I received numerous comments on how the images and songs stayed with them and sparked new ideas about grief. Despite the favorable response, we felt that we didn’t quite realize the piece’s full potential and have recently decided to revisit the text and music. I keep planning to  revisit this rich material with this amazing group, but haven’t done so yet.

 
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